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Don’t believe the label ‘flushable’: disposable wipes clog sewers around the world

Grownups are now using the same wipes once reserved for babies, leading to millions of dollars of sewer problems. A New York City bill takes aim at the lack of transparency and mislabeling some say is to blame Disposable wipes essentially baby wipes designed for adults have become the scourge of residential and municipal sewer systems around the world. Nonwoven cloths have been getting stuck in pipes and sewer machinery, creating massive, expensive clogs in Washington DC, Toronto, London and lawsuits from cities and with the backing of Mayor Bill…

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Sanders uses Bible to defend Trump’s separation of children from families at border

Press secretary rejects criticism of Jeff Sessions citing Romans 13 to justify policy and says it is very biblical to enforce the law Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, invoked the Bible to defend the Trump administrations immigration policy of separating mothers from their children. She was speaking at Thursdays White House briefing, in response to a question about comments made by the attorney general Jeff Sessions, where he cited a passage in the Bible to justify the policy. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his…

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Antarctic ice melting faster than ever, studies show

Rate of melt has accelerated threefold in last five years and could contribute 25cm to sea-level rises without urgent action Ice in the Antarctic is melting at a record-breaking rate and the subsequent sea rises could have catastrophic consequences for cities around the world, according to two new studies. A report led by scientists in the UK and US found the rate of melting from the Antarctic ice sheet has accelerated threefold in the last five years and is now vanishing faster than at any previously recorded time. A separate…

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Calm down, carnivores: fake meat with real flavour is good for all of us | Aine Carlin

Plant-based burgers now so tasty they deserve to be sold alongside the real thing are not just for vegetarians and vegans, says the food writer Aine Carlin Fake meat. Its a divisive topic, and one that frequently reduce their meat intake given the colossal environmental crisis we find ourselves in. But regardless of which camp you belong to, its going to take a collective effort to undo even some of the strain livestock production puts on the planet. So its a head-scratcher that people are up in arms after pea…

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Italian minister declares victory as Spain accepts rescue boat

Matteo Salvini, who refused to let ship carrying 629 refugees and migrants to dock, says: We have opened a front in Brussels Matteo Salvini, Italys far-right interior minister, has declared victory after a standoff over the fate of 629 people on a humanitarian rescue boat prompted Spain to agree to accept them. The impasse, after the populist and far-right government in Italy refused to allow the MS Aquarius to dock over the weekend, suggested that Europe could face a humanitarian crisis this summer as it comes to grips with the…

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‘I dont know where my family is’: Cameroon’s refugees flee brutality

Cameroons ruthless conflict has splintered families and forced tens of thousands of people into Nigeria, where they lack shelter and food You cant sleep, says bishop Andrew Nkea, of the Mamfe diocese in south-west Nigeria, but most are sleeping rough in abandoned buildings, or out in the open. What began as a request for English to be used in the courtrooms and public schools of the countrys two anglophone regions has escalated into this crisis. If the situation is not defused through dialogue, the entire country could be destabilised before…

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Whale dies from eating more than 80 plastic bags

Pilot whale was found barely alive in Thai canal and vomited up five bags during fruitless rescue attempts A whale has died in southern Thailand after swallowing more than 80 plastic bags, with rescuers failing to nurse the mammal back to health. The small male pilot whale was found barely alive in a canal near the border with Malaysia, the countrys department of marine and coastal resources said. A veterinary team tried to help stabilise its illness but finally the whale died on Friday afternoon. An autopsy revealed 80 plastic…

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US on brink of trade war with EU, Canada and Mexico as tit-for-tat tariffs begin

Jean-Claude Juncker pledges retaliation as EU companies face 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminiumTrump imposes tariffs business live The United States and its traditional allies are on the brink of a full-scale trade war after European and Canadian leaders reacted swiftly and angrily to Donald Trumps decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium producers. The president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, promised immediate retaliation after the US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, said EU companies would face a 25% duty on steel and a 10% duty on…

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Rudy Giuliani admits ‘Spygate’ is Trump PR tactic against Robert Mueller

Presidents lawyer gives meandering Sunday show interviews, saying claims of campaign informant are for public opinion Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said on Sunday that his repeated imputations of a supposed scandal at the heart of the Robert Mueller investigation which Donald Trump calls Spygate amounted to a tactic to sway public opinion and limit the risk of the president being impeached. Of course we have to do it to defend the president, Trumps lawyer told CNN State of the Union host Dana Bash, who accused him of…

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Death in the sun: Australia’s 88-day law leaves backpackers exploited and exposed

The 2017 death of Olivier Caramin joins a growing list of problems backpackers can face in rural jobs, including rape, harassment and underpayment Martin Hand knew something was wrong as he watched a fellow backpacker stagger down the road in the searing heat of a Queensland summer. Hand, a British traveller, had been picking pumpkins on a farm near Ayr, a small country town 10km (6 miles) from the coast, along with other young backpackers including a 27-year-old Belgian, Olivier Max Caramin. The day was hot the temperature had reached…

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Pope Francis tells gay man: ‘God made you like this’

Juan Carlos Cruz, who was sexually abused, says pontiff told him God did not mind that he was gay A survivor of clerical sexual abuse has said Pope Francis told him that God had made him gay and loved him, in arguably the most strikingly accepting comments about homosexuality to be uttered by the leader of the Roman Catholic church. Juan Carlos Cruz, who spoke privately with the pope two weeks ago about the abuse he suffered at the hands of one of Chiles most notorious paedophiles, said the issue…

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Chilean villagers claim British appetite for avocados is draining region dry

UK demand for fruit increased by 27% last year alone, prompting accusations that growers are illegally diverting rivers and leaving locals without water British supermarkets are selling thousands of tonnes of avocados produced in a Chilean region where villagers claim vast amounts of water are being diverted, resulting in a drought. Major UK supermarkets including Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl source avocados from Chiles largest avocado-producing province, Petorca, where water rights have been violated. In Petorca, many avocado plantations install illegal pipes and wells in order to divert water…

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Valentine’s Day pranksters book odd-numbered cinema seats in China

Couples will be forced to sit apart after group of singles work together to buy up tickets to romantic movie at Shanghai cinema Romantics in Shanghai will have to forget dinner and a movie for Valentine’s Day. Chinese pranksters have reserved all of the odd-numbered seats at a cinema’s primetime screening, forcing couples to sit apart. The seating plan at Xintiandi cinema. Photograph: Shanghai Morning Post A group of embittered singles worked together to buy up the tickets to a 7.30pm screening of Beijing Love Story, a sappy big-budget romance,…

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The Guardian view on Gaza shootings: stop killing unarmed civilians | Editorial

Editorial: Channelling a reckless Donald Trump, Israeli ministers appear to have adopted a dangerous mindset: to destroy the national aspirations of the Palestinians by military force It is inexcusable for soldiers of a military, especially those under democratic civilian control, to shoot and kill protesters, almost all of whom were unarmed, and who pose no credible threat. Yet at the boundary between Gaza and Israel today Israeli soldiers blockading Gaza, Israel imprisoned 2 million people behind barbed wire and military towers. Israel treated the violence as a jailer might a…

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